Government has announced that it will pay the last batch of bonuses next Friday as it fulfils the promise made by President Mugabe to civil servants that they would get their entitlement. The bonuses were supposed to be paid yesterday, but Treasury indicated it required time to mobilise resources.
The first group comprising members of the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) and Air Force of Zimbabwe received their 13th cheque in February while the police and members of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services received their payments in April. Workers under the education sector, which has the highest number of employees in Government, were paid in May. Finance and Economic Development Minister Patrick Chinamasa, in a statement yesterday, said the decision to move the date was to allow for the mobilisation of the requisite resources.
Those yet to be paid include employees in the higher education sector. “As previously communicated, the Government is paying the 2015 bonus payments on a staggered basis. “The last instalment which relates to the rest of the civil servants is being moved from June 3, 2016, to June 10, 2016 to allow for mobilisation of the requisite resources and Treasury sincerely regrets all the inconveniences caused,” Minister Chinamasa said. Due to tight fiscal space, the Government had early last year contemplated suspending payment of bonuses for 2015 and 2016.
The move irked civil servants and President Mugabe overturned it, saying “when the Government bestows a benefit on civil servants, that benefit cannot be withdrawn because it has become a right.” Delays in the payment of the 2015 bonuses saw some civil servants threatening to go on strike. At least 83 percent of Government revenue is gobbled by salaries, leaving little for development programmes
The Government has come up with a number of strategies to reduce the wage bill, including rationalisation of the civil service following an audit carried out last year.